Right now, everyone is wondering how to practice proper iPhone cleaning techniques.
As the coronavirus continues to spread and affect daily life, we’re all becoming much more aware of how to sanitize our homes, bodies, and possessions. As many of you may already know, your phone tends to be one of the things you touch most during a day. That also means it’s usually one of the dirtiest items you own.
While you might know how to clean fingerprints and dirt from your iPhone, today we’re going to go a little further than that. We’re going to look at how to properly disinfect your iPhone.
That process may sound easy and..well, it kind of is. However, you’d be amazed by how easy it can go wrong if you don’t follow a basic series of steps.
To help ensure that you’re cleaning your iPhone cleaning sessions are for more than just show, here’s a basic how-to on properly disinfecting your phone.
Basic Cleaning Steps
Luckily for all of us, Apple outlines basic iPhone cleaning instructions on their website. Here are the simple steps you can follow if you own a version of the iPhone 11.
Unplug all cables and turn off your iPhone.
Use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth—for example, a lens cloth.
If material is still present, use a soft, lint-free cloth with warm soapy water.
Avoid getting moisture in openings.
Don’t use cleaning products or compressed air.
Interestingly, Apple outlines some slightly different cleaning steps based on what model of iPhone you have. The instructions are basically the same, but here are a few points you should consider.
- iPhone 8s and later have a fingerprint-resistant coating. However, this coating can diminish over time and through the wear of repeated cleanings. Make sure to clean these models carefully and be aware of the coating’s reduction.
- If your model of iPhone doesn’t have that protective coating, you’re going to have to be more aware of lingering fingerprints and how oils may affect it. Clean these models more often and more carefully.
- If your model has a home button, you need to take that into account during iPhone cleaning. A dirty home button may affect your unit’s touch ID capabilities. Be sure to wipe the home button-down with a soft cloth.
- Older iPhones may have additional ports and openings that must be cleaned. Follow basic cleaning instructions when cleaning these ports carefully.
Can You Safely Disinfect Your iPhone?
Yes, you can disinfect your iPhone. However, we want to put an emphasis on the term “safety.”
Apple says that it’s fine to use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe on your iPhone. You may use this wipe to softly clean the exterior of your device. As always, be sure not to apply unnecessary pressure. It’s also important to not allow excess moisture to gather.
It’s also important to note that you should not be using sprays or liquids directly during iPhone cleaning. Doing so may result in excess moisture creeping into the interior of your iPhone. The same goes for hand sanitizer which can seriously ruin your iPhone’s screen. If you must use a spray, be sure to apply it to a soft cloth before wiping your iPhone.
In case you didn’t know, it’s also vitally important to not use bleach or rubbing alcohol for your iPhone. You can destroy your device with such products, and we don’t imagine Apple is going to be happy if you ask them to replace your bleached iPhone.
When using a wipe during iPhone cleaning, be sure to focus on your screen, the back of the device, and other commonly touched areas. Avoid ports whenever possible and try to dry your phone with a soft cloth after giving your phone ample time to dry.
What Products Can You Use For iPhone Cleaning?
70% Isopropyl Alcohol Wipes
70% is the magic mark for disinfectant wipes. That percentage ensures the effectiveness of the wipe in terms of killing most known germs and bacteria. Most of the more popular disinfectant wipes (such as those made by Clorox) contain the right percentage of alcohol. Of course, you should always check whenever you’re in doubt.
70% Isopropyl Alcohol Sprays
As we noted, it’s perfectly fine to use a spray during iPhone cleaning. You just have to be sure to not apply the spray directly to your iPhone. Instead, you’ll want to spray the product onto a soft cloth and then use the cloth to wipe your iPhone.
One of the best ways to clean your iPhone’s ports and crevices is compressed air. Because you don’t have to make physical contact with your device while using compressed air, it’s much safer to use than other alternatives. Just be sure to follow your compressed air’s instructions in order to ensure proper iPhone cleaning safety.
Q-Tips (or a non-branded equivalent) are an underrated way to clean your iPhone. By applying a recommended disinfectant solution to a cotton swab, you can easily clean your iPhone’s ports and other hard to reach areas. Just be sure to not apply too much pressure when using a swap or tear the cotton.
Microfiber wipes are one of your best tools for iPhone cleaning. Not only can you use dry ones to wipe fingerprints, but you can apply disinfectant to them to safely clean the rest of your iPhone. Stock up on these if you want the best overall iPhone cleaning solution around.
What Products Shouldn’t You Use For iPhone Cleaning?
While it’s theoretically possible to use these in a way that won’t break your iPhone, this is not an effective iPhone cleaning solution. They’re messy, and they’re better used on things that aren’t your iPhone. A little soap mixed with warm water is fine in a pinch, but be sure to properly mix it with water beforehand.
There has been some debate about whether or not to use paper towels for iPhone cleaning. While it’s generally agreed that you can do it safely, it’s certainly not the most effective iPhone cleaning solution. Paper towels can be coarse and may end up scratching your iPhone.
This is probably the biggest “No” we’ll cover in this article. While bleach and alcohol are undoubtedly effective in their own right, they can easily destroy your iPhone. Even when using sprays, you want to be very careful with how much you use and how you apply it to your screen.
General Cleaning Tips
Having the right products is one thing, but here are some good, general tips to follow for proper iPhone cleaning.
Place Your iPhone on a Soft Surface
Even if you’re very careful, it’s easy to accidentally apply too much pressure to your iPhone. As such, it’s best to place your iPhone on a towel or similarly soft surface before you start to clean it.
Use Small, Circular Motions on Your Screen
In order to ensure full coverage and total safety, it’s best to clean your screen using small, circular motions. While it’s not the only way to clean your iPhone, it’s the method that most people tend to recommend.
Perform iPhone Cleaning As Often As You Can
In the best of times, it’s fine to clean your iPhone about once a month. However, once a week is the generally recommended option if you want to be truly safe. If you (or others around you) are sick, then you’ll want to clean your iPhone every day until the situation changes.
Do Not Neglect Your Accessories
Proper iPhone cleaning also means taking care of your phone’s biggest accessories. That obviously includes your phone case, but don’t overlook your charger and other items that regularly come in contact with your iPhone.
Are UV Light Cases Effective for iPhone Cleaning?
In case you don’t know, you can buy cases such as a PhoneSoap which bathe your iPhone in UV light. The manufacturers of these devices claim that this light can kill up to 99% of germs.
While most studies show that is true, it’s important to understand a few things. First off, these cases won’t do anything for dirt and fingerprints. You’ll still need to practice traditional iPhone cleaning methods to take care of those problems. Second, that research is based on limited sample sizes. That means that some bacteria and diseases may not be accounted for and may not be killed by the UV light.
You can absolutely use a UV case as part of your iPhone cleaning process. You should just know that it might not offer the total solution you’re looking for.